Over the years, there are many questions that are consistently asked about Tryouts. We have put together a FAQ to try and answer the most common questions, but feel free to contact us with any additional questions:
- Do I have to pay for my daughter to participate in tryouts?
No! We will ask you to sign a standard Rec and Park liability release, but that’s it.
- I see that there are several tryout dates. Is attendance required for all of them?
There is no requirement that players participate in all tryouts. However we do find that new players often become much more comfortable by the second (and even third) day of tryouts. By that time, they know some of the girls, have established a rapport with the coaches, and are just more comfortable in the gym.
- What should my daughter wear to tryouts?
Your daughter should wear comfortable athletic clothes and shoes. Returning players will be in basketball shoes and shorts. Basketball shoes and shorts are not required, but athletic shoes and athletic shorts are necessary to ensure player safety. While drinking fountains are available, we also recommend that the girls bring water bottles.
- Given that these are tryouts, could my daughter be cut?
Generally speaking, elementary school-aged girls are never “cut” due to lack of basketball ability. Tryouts serve mainly to introduce new players and parents to the program, show what happens at a typical practice, and share an overview of what’s required to commit to the team.
- Can I watch tryouts?
YES! We encourage interested parents to watch, but we request that you sit in the bleachers to observe practice.
- When will practices be?
Great question! Each team practices two times per week for 90 minutes per practice. Given the need to warm up and cool down properly, the time commitment per week for practice is basically 4 hours. The practice days are determined by the coaching staff after getting a sense of the overall availability of the players but you can expect either a Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday schedule starting promptly at 5:30 pm and ending promptly at 7:00 pm.
- When and where are the games?
This is an unavoidable frustration related to AAU, so please bear with us! We have registered for a set of weekend tournaments and will publish that schedule as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even the best-run AAU tournaments do not announce game times until the Thursday before the tournament. Also sadly, tournaments sometimes get cancelled (and sometimes cancellations happen at the last minute). When that happens, we try our best to find an alternative tournament. This means that the location and times of the new tournament may differ than those posted on the schedule. We apologize for this and we attempt to register in as many “well-run” tournaments as possible to limit the chance of a last-minute scramble due to cancellations. Note, no player is ever “punished” if the player can’t accommodate a last-minute scramble. Our tournaments are generally in the Bay Area. Most are within an hour drive. Some are in the Sacramento/Stockton area.
- What is the cost for my daughter to participate?
The good news is that we are sponsored by the SF Rec and Park department, so participating in this AAU program is generally the most cost-effective, high-quality basketball program available. Still, participating in AAU tournaments is, unfortunately, not cheap. As such, parents last year were asked to pay $450 per season to participate. You will also be asked to buy home and away uniforms that cost approximately $200. The uniforms are usually worn by the girls for several years (we start them off in baggy uniforms!). With that said, there are scholarships available to SF residents so please speak to a coach if you wish to learn more about scholarship opportunities.
- My daughter swims, plays the harmonica, and is heavily involved in Girl Scouts. Can she still play?
We will do our best to work with you to see if participation on an AAU team can be accommodated within your daughter’s schedule.
- I have heard AAU can be crazy with screaming coaches and screaming parents. Is that true?
At MRC, we do not believe in screaming at our players unless it is with unbridled, positive enthusiasm (e.g., “Great JOB Samantha!!!”). We all subscribe to the concept of positive coaching. We demand our parents behave the same way. We believe in passionately cheering for our team and our competitors. However, AAU is a competitive environment. As such, there are times that other teams take a very competitive approach on the court. It is our job as coaches to prepare our teams to compete with teams of all shapes and sizes in a passionate and positive manner.
- What are MRC’s goals?
Our most basic goal is to ensure our players learn how to play basketball properly and develop the skills necessary for each player to advance should they choose to do so. Some of our players have aspirations to play Division I college basketball, and we will work to prepare them. Others just want to enjoy playing on their middle school team and understand a little bit why Steph Curry gets so wide open. We need to get those girls ready, too. We are committed to teaching our players that athletics and teamwork can provide a strong foundation to lifelong health and success.
- Who are the coaches?
The coaches are a combination of Rec and Park employees and registered Rec and Park volunteer assistants having years of youth coaching experience. Many of us have played at or beyond the college level and we all share a passion for teaching kids. We are happy to introduce ourselves to you at your convenience.
- My question isn’t listed here. What should I do?
Come to tryouts and ask us! We are happy to answer anything we can.